Archive for the ‘Flight Simulation’ Category

AirTrack for iOS devices

Posted: October 21, 2012 in Flight Simulation

I’ve been looking at all the iOS apps available for iPads and iPhones for use with FSX, Prepar3D and X-Plane. I looked at the app store, and all the reviews, and finally settled on looking at AirTrack, written by IP Objects. I had a few issues using it with Prepar3D, and had issues with multicast, but through fabulous support from the developer, I’m extremely impressed with the response time to inquiries, and all the great help they have provided. Since I’ve got 2 iPads (1st gen and 3rd gen) and an iPhone, I wanted something I could use on all of them at the same time, and maybe even add more iPad in the future. AirTrack meets those capabilities.

If you are an avid sim pilot, and have any iOS devices, check out AirTrack. It’s $24.99 as of posting this article, and worth every penny! I have only used it for about an hour of sim flight time, so I’m not even fully familiar with all its capabilities, but if the support response is any indication of how well the app works, and how they’ll respond to suggestions and new features, there is no need for any other sim app for iOS. This beats them all!!!

Here it is in the iTunes App Store

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I’ve been through a lot in the aviation world, but not enough to ever get my pilot’s license. I started working on it about 9 years ago, and after doing a couple solo flights, I had an accident in a Mooney during takeoff. It was a bit windy, and the older Mooney’s have a very squirrley nose gear compared to a Cessna. I had a crosswind below my limits and it changed during my takeoff. This caused one wing to lift before I had enough speed for takeoff. As I started to correct for this, the wing dropped, and the nose gear touched again, causing me to head off the runway. I over-corrected, and went the other way, and went towards the opposite side of the runway. At that moment I had just about enough speed to take off, but I decided it was best to ride it out, and stay on the ground. If I had lifted too quickly in my panic, I could have stalled the plane and come crashing down, seriously injuring myself. I made the proper decision, and while I did a massive amount of damage to the plane, I came out completely uninjured. I was a bit shaken, but I knew that one day I would have to get back on the horse. The following summer, I started flying again, to get over my fear. It put the love of flying back into me, but things had changed, and I couldn’t keep up with the lessons due to finances. I decided to quit flying.

I did, however, stick to my simulator, and when Flight Simulator X came out, I was hooked to all the new features. A few years back I started looking into CH Products yoke and pedals. Then I discovered the Saitek equipment and was in love. I started by purchasing the yoke with throttle, and pedals. Then I purchased the multi-panel, then the radio panel, then an additional throttle quadrant, then the switch panel. I also purchased the TrackIR device so I could easily look around the cockpit without the use of a HAT switch on the yoke. I wasn’t satisfied, and hated the way it was set up, and wanted a more realistic experience without having to spend the money to fly for real. I knew it was time to work towards a real flight sim setup.

Since then, I’ve purchased a USB flight headset adapter made by Flight Sound, FS Panel Studio for FSX, some 737 throttle knobs for the saitek throttle quadrant setup, and a couple other random items. I haven’t had the space to build a cockpit until recently when I moved from my tiny townhome, into a new house with my wife. I’ve now got a full basement that I can use for whatever I’d like. It’s time for me to continue collecting and get started on building this thing. Unfortunately, I have a new baby on the way in just under a month, so I might have quite a few delays in this project.

I plan on purchasing the following additional items for the Simulator setup:
-1 or 2 32″ LCD TV’s to use as the windshield, rather than an external screen or projected image. This is more cost effective. Though I might just break down and purchase a 1080p projector…
-Additional Saitek radio panel for dual radio setup
-Saitek Backlit Information Panel
-MAYBE a Saitek instrument information panel or two, but probalby not since for the price of one, I can just buy a 22″ LCD monitor.
-Some car seats from a junk yard or universal racing seats off ebay. I’d like to find a car seat that has height adjust-ability if possible, for my step-son.
-A backlit keyboard for use within the cockpit when it’s dark
-An LED controller with some RGB LED strips from Oznium.com for in-cockpit lighting. Then I can make red, white, blue, green light, or whatever, and dim to a specific level.
-X-plane 10, or another sim alternative like Prepar3D from Lockheed Martin
-FSX Real Environment Extreme for FSX/Prepar3D, for greater ralism
-Maybe some additional plugins and extra planes to fly, including FSUIPC if necessary

I then plan to follow the recommendations of the guy who makes the 737 throttle knobs, and build a cockpit much like his setup. I will likely build from the ground up, by first building a rolling platform that can contain seats and a center console, then build up from there. Task for this weekend is to go seat hunting!

Stay tuned for my future posts!